Although it may seem I have forgotten about this blog – with my last post being more than eight months ago, it doesn’t mean I stopped being watching “stuff”. Matter fact, I have been watching even more films and watching them on the day they’re released.
It’s just – no film has made me rush to this blog to make a post. I watched The Batman and I just felt like there was nothing more I could say expect that was good. I just loved Spider-Man, Dr Strange 2 – I never want to talk about, and eleven-year old me would punch myself for not reviewing Hawkeye.
So, I came out of the cinema today after watching Thor: Love and Thunder, and reflected. After thinking for a while, that voice in my head reminded me I have a blog and I could write a review, like I did for Thor: Ragnarok. To which I instantly laughed and kept it moving.
But, I kept thinking about it and I read some reviews to which I though a) I can write much better than these guys and b) these reviews weren’t explaining the true problem of the film.
Now, before I go into what I perceive as the problem, I need to say that I still enjoyed Love and Thunder. It wasn’t anything amazing and I probably wouldn’t watch it again, but the things Thor: Love and Thunder gets right outweighs what it gets wrong. I still loved Ragnarok more (and this comparison is arguably the reason this film faced a battle to begin with) but I did enjoy the movie, and the decisions the film made really invested me for the future.
Love and Thunder may not have the same nuance as Ragnarok, which does impact the way the audience feels about the movie – which I will get into. But, Love and Thunder does replicate the shocks Ragnarok delivers. The cast bring their best, and Chris Hemsworth shows why he deserved a fourth movie.
If you have read even one review of Thor: Love and Thunder, you will hear about the “comedy”. Some love it, others hate it but everyone agrees the “silliness” is too extreme.
This criticism isn’t exactly fair. The ‘silliness’ is exactly what you would expect, it is very similar to Ragnarok, and funnily enough – the same people who criticised Ragnarok for under-cutting emotional moments with comedy are now looking at all those that defended that film and going “see, now everyone agrees with us”.
And the ‘silliness’ whilst plays a part isn’t the sole reason I (and probably many more) left the cinema with a feeling of impartialness to the movie. Not impartialness in the sense of not being excited for the future, but rather just having seen so many great movies, it is okay to say Love and Thunder is an okay film not a great one.
I remember when Ragnarok was released, and everyone praised the change in character, the change in tone, so of course the sequel would try to add to that, but it is not possible as we have seen Thor two more times since that movie.
The problem with this movie, is that it isn’t able to deliver the same gut-punches Ragnarok did to enable Love and Thunder to hit the audience. Ragnarok was fresh, exciting, new. And Love and Thunder is exactly what you would expect, and because the movie is only two hours long, the hard-hits Love and Thunder deliver aren’t allowed to breathe as we have to move on to the next part.
Jane Foster has an incredible storyline, and whilst it is delivered well, having an extra thirty minutes to let the emotions really set in would have added so much. Even with the silliness that would come with that extra half-hour, it would at the very least give the audience more time to really feel the pain.
Gorr Christian Bale steals every scene he is in, and all that leaves is the audience wanting more – more that you do not get. Valkyrie really doesn’t have much to do, once again leaving the audience wanting more, and Korg has a genuinely jaw-dropping scene that is cheapened by the end of the movie.
Which is odd (as I will go onto and praise), because what Waititi has done so well over these two movies is take risks, making Hela Thor’s sister, blowing up Asgard and Thor losing an eye, were all big, unexpected changes.
I think the best way to describe the problem with the film, is its ending. If you are expecting me to say I hated it then you are in the wrong place. I really enjoyed the decisions that were made and believe it is that, that makes Taika Waititi such a unique and strong film-maker and why Ragnarok worked. Not because of the comedy or change in style but because the films actually propel Thor as a character forward, and takes risks.
Which to be fair, this film also does, and I love the final line of the movie showing who is the Love and who is the Thunder. But, the issue lies in the ending, with Jane’s decision to pick up the hammer and join the fight means she dies and it delivers such a beautiful scene. A scene that starts with Thor not caring for Gorr’s decision because he chooses love, whilst Jane dies in his arms.
With an extra half- hour added, the audience would see that for the first time in years Thor has someone in his life, and that final scene would hit so much harder because just as he gets what he’s been missing in life he loses it. But, considering the two of them got back together what felt like twenty minutes before this, it all just happens too fast.
Furthermore, if I was to think to what my favourite Thor was, I would go for Infinity War’s Thor. It would be one thing if Love and Thunder continued Thor’s story from Ragnarok but it doesn’t. The audience has seen him in IW and Endgame, with his character being one of the best in both! And that also adds to the criticism seen in reviews.